5 Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

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Are you going to be among of the millions of Americans traveling this holiday season? If so check out my top 5 tips to arrive refreshed and ready to go!

  1. Get a good night sleep. This tip is especially important if you are driving, as the AAA recommends at least 6 hours of sleep before driving. Avoid staying up late packing and saying you will “sleep on the plane.” This full nights rest will help you ward off any sickness while traveling, so try to get the packing done earlier in the day.
  2. Plan your meals, and review menus online. There is an awesome app called Gate Guru which helps you find a healthy meal at the airport. Look to your ticket for your terminal and find a healthy restaurant option by your gate, or if you are connecting, talk to the flight attendant to find out what terminal you will be arriving at to help you make your choice. If you’re driving this holiday season, eat a normal breakfast, and check out healthy restaurants along the way with the Healthy Dining Finder No matter how you travel making a healthy choice BEFORE you get overly hungry is key!
  3. Find ways to incorporate standing and walking into your day. Many airports now offer walking paths where you can walk a couple thousand steps while on your layover, especially before sitting for a long period of time again (comfortable shoes are key). Avoid sitting the entire layover which can slow your metabolism, and also make you feel sluggish. If you are driving, try marching in place while getting gas, or taking a lap around the break area before getting back in the car. All movement counts!
  4. Pack snacks! Packing your own snacks is the key to healthy travel. These snacks will help keep your hunger and fullness in check, and make sure you aren’t overly hungry going into a meal, causing you to over eat and feel uncomfortable. Pack snacks for the trip, and your vacation!
  5. What are some meal/snacks I can bring on a plane? You can bring a Natural Peanut Butter and 100% whole fruit jam sandwich, an empty water bottle, whole fruits like an apple/banana/pear/peach/grapes (in a zip-lock or small plastic container), raw vegetables like: baby carrots/broccoli/cherry tomatoes/snap peas, nutrition bars such as KIND/LARA/RXbars, or a trail mix

Do you have more healthy travel questions? Contact me here. Happy Holidays and safe travels!

 

Last Minute Gift Guide

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I don’t know about you, but this whole Christmas is three weeks after Thanksgiving is NOT going very well for me! This holiday season has been a struggle with parties, travel, gifting, and Q4 deadlines.

That’s why I’ve put together this last minute gift guide. I’ve compiled this list with both wellness and time in mind. It starts with some quick-ship options and ends with downloadable options perfect for your Christmas Eve “oh crap” moments. I hope you enjoy it and happy shopping!

Wellness Gifts with 2-Day Shipping

  • A weighted blanket is perfect for the cold winter weather, and it also helps with decreasing stress/anxiety. This blanket is on sale on Amazon and will arrive in 2 days with prime shipping!
  • A gratitude journal to help celebrate every day WINS (no matter how the rest of the day went). This written exercise helps facilitate mindfulness and helps with forming a permanent positive mindset. Order it on Amazon and will arrive in 2 days with prime shipping!

Wellness Gifts You Can Pick Up Today

  • A gift certificate to the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group. Gift the gift of wellness this holiday! We offer gift certificates for nutrition packages, or in a dollar amount of your choice. Our office will be open until Monday 12/23 at 7PM and Allison will be available to assist you with your purchase and gift certificate. (We can also ship a gift certificate to you if you place your order by Fri 12/20!)
  • A letter board for writing intentions, positive messages and important reminders. Pick up this one at your local Target.
  • A sparking water maker from Soda Stream. We love sparkling water brands like La Croix and Spindrift, but why not make your own? Not only will it help you save money and make your grocery haul easier, you will also cut back on waste. Pick up this one at your local Target.

Wellness Gifts You Can Download Instantly

  • eCookbooks authored by our Registered Dietitian and CEO Brittany Jones! All 5 of our cookbooks can be downloaded to your computer or tablet (even if it’s Christmas morning!)
  • A Spa Gift Card for some self care in 2020! If you are in Greenville, SC I love the Spa at The West End – not only do they have gift cards for specific services but you can also purchase a day spa packages which are *incredible* You can purchase, download and print your certificate instantly making it a perfect last minute gift.

Merry Christmas from the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group!

Maple Walnut Baked Pears

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During the holidays or on vacation, we often times change up our normal meal/snack pattern because we don’t have as much “structure” to our day. And that’s OK! That’s part of the fun.

However, we encourage our clients to still focus on eating a meal or snack every 3-4 hours to avoid getting overly hungry (a 1-2 on the hunger scale) which can result in either a binge, or overeating at dinner. Snacking is the key to your success this holiday season!

We’ve come up with a festive holiday snack for y’all  that only has five ingredients and is very simple to make. Just put together your ingredients, let it bake, and there you have a delicious Maple Walnut Baked Pear! This also makes a wonderful dessert.

Turn this recipe a breakfast meal by add a ½ Cup of Greek yogurt for extra protein to each serving. Whether you choose to make this recipe as a dessert, snack, or breakfast, we hope you enjoy every bit of its wonderful maple-y goodness! Happy holidays y’all.

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Maple Walnut Baked Pears

Servings: 2-4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Pears
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Greek yogurt, 0% plain

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉
  2. Slice your pears in half and spoon out the core where the seeds live and place them on a baking sheet
  3. Add equal amounts of the cinnamon, walnuts, and maple syrup on top of your pear halves.
  4. Bake your pear halves in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the maple syrup starts to bubble and the sides begin to golden
  5. Finally, top each with 1 Tablespoon of Greek yogurt and enjoy!

If you make our Maple Walnut Baked Pears, let us know! Share your creation on Instagram and tag @britanyjonesrd for a chance to be featured on our stories.

-Recipe and photography by Gabriella Childers, Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Intern

 

Let the Kids Eat Candy

 

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Are you shocked to hear a group of Registered Dietitian’s in support of Halloween candy? We understand why you might feel this way, but hear us out. We have partnered with Power Kids Fitness to teach kids that all foods fit and promote a healthy relationship with food. Yes, that includes candy!

The trouble with taking candy away during Halloween (or any holiday) is that kids learn that candy is associated with guilt, shame, and restriction. Studies show that children who have regular access to candy and treats tend to eat them moderately, while children who recognize them as forbidden foods tend to load up when available (even if they aren’t hungry). If we teach kids that treats are shameful, they will never learn how to manage them as adults. Keep reading for our top three tips on how to manage the Halloween candy this year.

Top 3 Halloween 2019 Tips:

  1. Develop a predictable meal and snack structure with nutritious foods for kids to follow throughout the week. The more structure kids have around their normal meals/snacks, the easier holiday treats will be for them to navigate. This will also help kids develop and recognize their hunger and fullness cues, which will prevent them from overeating treats, or any other foods.
  2. Make treats a regular thing throughout the year. This will make holiday’s like Halloween seem more normal, and it will prevent the risk of binging. Kids have an amazing intuition for their hunger and fullness, and the more we support them in developing these cues, the less likely they will be to over do it.
  3. Have fun the night of fun, and then save the rest for later. Enjoy your time sorting, trading, and eating candy -and then save the rest to have a couple of pieces as a part of your regular meal structure for a few days after Halloween.

To learn more about our work with Power Kids Fitness to end childhood obesity in Upstate South Carolina, check out their website here

10 Healthy Grab & Go Snacks

The dietitians at the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group are big snackers. Homemade trail mix, fruit and nuts, and veggies and dip are some of our favorites! We are also very realistic and we know that we can’t always expect to carve out the time to prep snacks during the day and sometimes it’s easier to reach for a prepackaged snack (especially when traveling). With the aisles of snack options to choose from, the snack choosing decision can be intimidating.

“What snacks should I buy?” “What ingredients should I avoid?” and “How can I tell if it’s healthy?” 

When shopping for snacks, we recommend looking for options that feature a protein and/or good fat. Most prepackaged snacks are carbohydrate based (which is fine), and adding fat and/or protein to a carbohydrate will slow down digestion keeping you fuller longer. It also keeps your blood sugar and energy levels more stable. The next thing we look for is real ingredients! We like to stick to whole foods as much as possible. Check the ingredients label. What is the first ingredient? Look for whole foods such as nuts, whole grains, or fruit. The less ingredients in a pre-packaged snack, the better! 

We’ve put together a list of just a few of our favorite packaged snack options to make it easier for you! From protein bars to chickpea puffs these snacks can either be picked up at the grocery store, or ordered online and delivered straight to your door via a service like Thrive Market.

10 Healthy Grab & Go Snacks

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Somersaults 

Somersaults are crunchy salty sunflower seed bites that have 6g of protein, making them perfect snacks to take with you on the go! They are also nut free and great for kids with food allergies.

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Trader Joe’s Turkey Jerky

Jerky is a great high protein snack option for your morning or afternoon snack (option to pair with a carb like a piece of fruit). The Trader Joe’s turkey jerky is low in saturated fat (so it will keep your LDL cholesterol low) is nitrate free, and is made from turkeys without growth hormones.

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Bada Bean Snacks 

Have you ever tried broad beans? We hadn’t either until we tried this snack! Beans are high in carbohydrates and protein making the perfect snack combination – not to mention it’s also portable and kid food allergy friendly (gluten free, nut free)

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RXBAR

Protein bars are a great option for snacks on the go. We like RXBars because they use minimal ingredients with nothing extra added. They also use egg whites as their source of protein instead of protein powder!

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Skinny Dipped Almonds

Chocolate covered almonds. Need we say more? These almonds are lightly dipped in dark chocolate to give you a sweet and crunchy afternoon snack that features protein and good fat to keep you full until dinner time. 

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Late July Organic Bite Size Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers

If you are a peanut butter cracker lover, you will love these sandwich crackers! They are an organic spin on a classic snack, and they taste great.

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Hippeas

Hippeas are basically the protein packed version of Cheetos (and who isn’t down for that?!) These light airy cheddar puffs are made of chickpeas loading the snack with both protein and carbohydrates for a completely satisfying snack!

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Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks

Another power house chickpea snack! Beina has a variety of salty and sweet roasted chickpeas. They have a nice crunch similar to nuts. It’s also a great option for kids with nut allergies!

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Lara Bars

Lara Bars are great to keep in your bag, car, or anywhere you might need a quick snack. These bars are made of dates, nuts, and other dried fruits and taste like some of your favorite desserts. They all have 6 ingredients or less!

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Second Nature Trail Mix

Trail mix is always a great snack option, with dried fruit for a carbohydrate and nuts for protein/good fats. If you are traveling or don’t have time to make a trail mix, this option is a great second best.

 

Healthy snacking is not always easy, especially if you’re out and about. We always recommend having some snacks with you in case hunger strikes! what are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Let us know below!

 

 

How to Make Chia Seed Pudding

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Chia seeds are a pantry staple for the dietitians at the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group. We love them sprinkled on top of oatmeal, blended into smoothies, and even in homemade pudding! 

So what are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are tiny gray seeds that are nutrient powerhouses. The name “powerhouse” comes to mind because they are an excellent source of omega-3s, protein, fiber, and many other micronutrients. When added to a liquid, the seeds can absorb 10-12 times their weight in water creating a gel-like consistency. Because chia seeds can retain so much water, they actually help maintain body hydration. 

Because the seeds gel so easily, it makes them the perfect ingredient for a nutritious homemade pudding recipe. We’ve put together three yummy chia pudding recipes that are thick, creamy, and easy to make. Even better, each of these recipes uses only five ingredients or less!

Three Easy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes

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Chocolate Raspberry Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup 2% milk or almond milk 
  • ¼ Cup Raspberries
  • 3 Tablespoons Chia seeds 
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder 
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple syrup

Directions:

  1. In any jar or bowl add milk first, followed by the chia seeds, cocoa powder, and maple syrup.
  2. Stir well with a spoon or fork. Let sit for one minute and stir again. This prevents clumping. Wait at least five minutes before eating for a healthy dessert, or place the pudding in the refrigerator to let sit overnight for an easy breakfast.
  3. When you’re ready to eat your chia pudding, stir and top with fresh raspberries. 

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Banana Nut Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup 2% milk or almond milk 
  • 3 Tablespoons Chia seeds 
  • 2 Tablespoons Walnuts, chopped
  • ½ Banana, mashed

Directions:

  1. In any jar or bowl, add milk first, followed by the chia seeds, mashed banana, and walnuts.
  2. Stir well with a spoon or fork. Let sit for one minute and stir again. This prevents clumping.
  3. Wait at least five minutes before eating for a healthy dessert, or place the pudding in the refrigerator to let sit overnight for an easy breakfast.
  4. When you’re ready to eat your chia pudding, stir and top with fresh raspberries. 

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Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup 2% milk or almond milk
  • ¼ Cup Sliced strawberries
  • ¼ Cup Plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Honey

Directions:

  1. In any jar or bowl, add milk first, then Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cocoa, honey, and sliced strawberries.
  2. Stir well with a spoon or fork. Let sit for one minute and stir again. This prevents clumping.
  3. Wait at least five minutes before eating for a healthy dessert, or place the pudding in the refrigerator to let sit overnight for an easy breakfast. Stir before eating

Notes:

  • If pudding is too thick, add a bit more milk and stir
  • Add liquids first before adding chia seeds
  • To make warm chia pudding, heat it in the microwave or add it on the stove with a splash of milk

-Written and photographed by Gabby Childers, Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Intern

Gabby Childers is from Greenville, SC, and is a senior Food Science and Nutrition major at Clemson University. She plans to become a registered dietitian after completing her undergrad. Gabby gets excited about healthy eating, food photography, and cultivating community through nutrition.

Spring Clean Your Diet with WSPA

Spring is finally here and I recently shared my tips to spring clean your diet with WSPA Channel 7 News. Warmer weather means that there is lots of produce is in season – and fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water! Click here to get the Grape, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Chicken Salad recipe that I demonstrated on the segment.

Spring clean your diet by making at least one snack per day consist of produce + protein

Examples below:

  • 1 Cup cucumber slices + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Small apple + 1 cheese stick
  • 1/2 Cup blueberries + 1/4 Cup walnuts
  • 17 Grapes + 25 almonds
  • 5 stalks celery + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1 Peach (sliced) + 1 Cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Pear + 1/4 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 bell pepper (sliced) + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Cutie + 1/2 Cup pistachios in shell
  • 1/2 Banana + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 Cup raspberries + 1/2 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Orange + 1 hard boiled egg

Want to know more about meal planning and nutrition tips for spring? Contact me today to set up your FREE 15 minute discovery call.

How to Host a Chill and Healthy Dinner Party

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As we head into the third weekend of the #COOK75 challenge, it’s a great time to talk about alternatives to dining out with friends. Why not host a dinner party instead of going out to eat?

If hearing the phrase “dinner party” stresses you out, don’t worry! I am not a super formal person myself, and a dinner party doesn’t have to big this big ordeal with invitations, and seating charts. You can simply invite friends over for dinner without having all of that stress!

I’ve broken hosting a chill and healthy dinner party down into 5 easy steps. Not only will you save money by eating/drinking at home, you will likely be eating more healthy whole foods (and less processed foods) and won’t have anyone waiting for your table. You can stay and enjoy yourselves for as long as you would like!

5 Healthy and Chill Dinner Party Tips

  1. Don’t make the invite list too big. A dinner party is more intimate than a party-party, and 2-6 guests is a good starting point. You can feasibly cook for 4-8 people in a “normal size” kitchen without having to batch cook, and also have enough plates, silverware, and glasses for everyone.
  2. Ask your guests for food allergies/preferences before choosing recipes. After you send out your invites (and yes this can totally be a text – we’re chill, remember?) the next step is to ask what kind of food they want to eat. This is the time that the guest will typically mention a food allergy or preference. You can then start looking for recipes, and if you’re not sure if it fits within their allergy/preference don’t hesitate to run it by them. You don’t want to make anyone sick, so it’s always better to check if you’re unsure! When I’m in need of some culinary inspiration, I always browse the Blush Nutrition Recipe eBooks for ideas.
  3. Opt for a one pot or sheet pan meal. Make it easy on yourself with a meal that seems fancy, but is in fact very easy to make. If you want to have separate dishes because of food allergies or preferences, try making the meat/veggies on a sheet pan, and then serving a grain on the side. An example of this would be making the Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan with Italian Veggies from my Winter Recipe eBook and serving whole wheat pasta or cauliflower gnocci on the side. Make sure to test out the recipe first! Don’t let your party be the first time you try something – take notes on your first round to make it easier on yourself on the day of the party. If there are steps that you can prep in advance (like chopping veggies or cooking grains) you can do that a couple of days before as well.
  4. Collaborate! While some more formal blogs/books might tell you that a dinner party host/hostess must make every dish at the party, we are living in 2019, and you do you. If your guest asks if they can bring something, and you feel you could use the help, say yes! Ask them to bring an appetizer (like a cheese board with crackers and nuts) or a dessert (like berries and dark chocolate).
  5. Add fresh flowers to the table. Skip the stress of name cards and fancy place settings, and spruce up your table with some simple fresh flowers! I always have fresh flowers from my garden on our table, and I find it elevates the table while also sending a welcoming feeling.

Do you have any dinner party questions/struggles? Send me a message here!

Meet the Fall Blush Nutrition Intern: Taylor!

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This is my 7th year as a dietetic internship preceptor for Winthrop University, and I am SO excited for this year because it’s my first time taking interns in private practice! In the past I have taken interns while working in outpatient clinical and food service, but I am very excited to show my interns what being a dietetics intrepreneur looks like.

I’d like to introduce you to Taylor, who is interning with me this August/September. Keep reading to learn more about his background, interests, and being an #RD2Be. Be sure to tune in on Thursday September 6th for his Instagram story takeover!

Meet Taylor

Q: You are a dietetic intern at Winthrop University. Tell us a little bit about this internship and the requirements to become a Registered Dietitian.

 

A: Getting accepted into a dietetic internship is a required process that you have to go through in order to become a Registered Dietitian. You must first complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. You then have to get accepted into a dietetic internship and complete a minimum of 1200 supervised hours through an accredited program. Once you complete your 1200 supervised hours, you are then eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration national exam to become a Registered Dietitian. Registered Dietitians must gain licensure in their state of practice, and commit to a minimum of 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

Q: Where did you complete your Undergraduate studies?

A: I received my Bachelors of Science and was a double major in nutrition science and dietetics at the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!

 
Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to work as a sports dietitian for a major professional sports team.

 
Q: Why did you choose to go into the dietetics field?

A: As a former competitive high school wrestler, I was able to first-hand experience the alleviating properties of nutrition. From struggling with disordered eating, to simply athletic performance, changing my eating habits completely changed my life as an athlete and a person.

I chose dietetics because I want to help people understand that nutrition doesn’t have to be as complex as we might think. I want to help people implement basic lifestyle and nutrition practices that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives to sustain long term success.

 
Q: You live a healthy lifestyle everyday and also love fitness. Tell us about your experience being a group fitness trainer.

A: Being a group fitness trainer has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I have had the opportunity to train a variety of people from ages 5-85. Through this, I have had the privilege to watch and assist people of all ages and fitness levels in overcoming boundaries and achieving goals that they never thought they could. From someone getting their first push up to someone squatting 400 lbs, I love watching people push their limits, motivate each other, and understand that physical activity is for everyone regardless of your size, shape, gender, or age.

 
Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: If I had to pick a favorite dish or food, I would say definitely sushi. If there’s a restaurant that serves sushi, I’ve probably been there.

 
Q: What are you must excited about working as the Blush Nutrition fall intern?

A: I am super pumped about getting to help people make small lifestyle changes that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Following Brittany’s expertise and methods, she sets up her clients for long-term success, and I am super excited to learn from her and her methods.

 

Welcome Taylor and thank you for all of your hard work this fall to continue to build the Blush Nutrition brand!

Want to know more about a Registered Dietitian vs. a Nutritionist? Read this.

Nominated for 2018 Best of the Upstate “Best Weight Loss Services”

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Blush Nutrition has been nominated for “Best Weight Loss Services”!

Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD is the ONLY Registered Dietitian on the ballot, and casting your vote for Blush Nutrition will send the message that Greenville is looking for a sustainable weight loss service, and not a quick fix. At Blush Nutrition, my focus in on healthy small lifestyle changes, customized to each client, and everything I do is backed by research.

What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist?

Simply said, all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritions are dietitians. A Registered Dietitian has additional qualifications that must be met, which include:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with course work including food and nutrition sciences, food service systems management, business, economics, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry
  • Completed an accredited dietetic internship
  • Passed the national Registered Dietitian examination
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration (75 every 5 years)

Click here to cast your vote for Blush Nutrition – click on the “Health & Beauty” page and scroll down for Best Weight Loss Services.

Thank you Greenville for this nomination, I am honored!